Wednesday, July 23, 2014

End of July

Lincoln is learning to swim with the help of private lessons. We've learned a few things about swim lessons. First, we started him too soon. Lesson learned, and will be applied to the little ones. Second, private and frequent lessons help out a ton. Weekly lessons with multiple kids where he gets about 10 total minutes in the pool is just insufficient. He worked by himself with a new teacher today and Jenn said he was treading water and swimming across the pool. He'll be ready for the Animal Kingdom pool in October!

I got an iPhone not too long ago. I've been so hesitant to use it to it's full potential because I'm not crazy about paying much for data plans, but it's both fun socially (I like Foursquare and I just got on Instagram), I can now leave the Stone Age from a texting standpoint, I love the Map My Run app for running, and the thought of using it for a variety of helpful reasons when we're at Disney World was interesting. Only recently have I found out just how little data I use for what I enjoy, and my concern with consuming a bunch of data on it at Disney has been alleviated by learning that there is WiFi just about everywhere we'll be. Some areas of technology make me feel cutting edge, but smart phones and my extreme tardiness to the party make me feel outdated.

Anyway, here's my Instagram stuff...

You can follow me there as "rggates"

Lincoln's pretty good now with his bike.

The kids are becoming much more tolerant of longer walks as we prep them for Disney.

Henry, while playing with Lincoln and Lydia, bumped his head on the latch part of Lincoln's door.

Henry has also been showing a lot more interest in Duplos lately.
Lincoln's imaginative play is rubbing off on both Henry and Lydia, allowing them to play better together. This has been a welcome change for Jenn.

Sunday, July 6, 2014

An evening with the Blossom Festival Orchestra and their Salute To America::
The kids have been really helpful around the house:
ClippiesCar Wash
Lincoln continues to do well at tennis. We're also learning a few things to work on at home to make our court time better, like footwork and catch and some of the simple things.
Auntie Haley came for a visit over the July 4th weekend, and while Lincoln was at tennis, she and Jenn took the little ones to the nature center.
Seiberling Nature Realm
Seiberling Nature RealmSeiberling Nature Realm
Seiberling Nature Realm
And a neat thing Jenn and I have noticed on our runs on Akron Peninsula Road are the overgrown fields where a farmer has dropped off goats to clear the grass. Most recently, they've been in a field across from where Quick Road ends on AP. So after dinner this evening I took the kids (har!) for a short car ride to see more than 50 mamas and babies.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Family Photos

Betty shoving her face into the flour is only a portion of the excitement in the Gates home as the summer unfolds.

Lincoln has been back in swim lessons, and things are really clicking. We also enrolled him in tennis lessons at Towpath Racquet Club and he's been doing very well. His teacher showed me a surprised expression when I told him Lincoln had never been taught how to toss the ball for serving, saying, "He's really good at that."
I got one of those bigger inflatable pools for the kids in the backyard, and that's been a hit on these hot humid days we've been having.
And recently our friend Courtney went out with us to take some family photos.

family photos 2014
family photos 2014
Disney training is well underway. Jenn is taking the kids on walks during the day and sometimes when there's time before bed, we'll go for another walk in the evening. Our goal is to have them ready to walk several miles during the day without complaining. If we can have their little legs ready, then moving between Dumbo, Peter Pan, Pirates of the Caribbean & It's A Small World shouldn't be too hard. We're also having little "sleepovers" where they all sleep in the same room. We had to abort the first night because it was a bit too novel with a certain little excited girl keeping the boys from sleeping. The second attempt went a bit better, until the middle of the night. Our original plan was to have Lincoln have a room to himself to fall asleep and have the two little ones share, but we've learned that Lydia is the one who needs to be isolated. Best to learn this stuff here before we get there.

The big event of this week is the coming Independence Day celebration at Blossom with the Cleveland Orchestra. While it hasn't exactly been an annual tradition, we've made it more times than we've missed, and there's no better way to spend the holiday, in my opinion. Joining us this year will be the Ucker family and Auntie Haley. We'll see how the little ones do with fireworks; Lydia continues to remind us how they hurt her ears... 2 years ago.